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Dutch Authorities Nab Suspect In 'Unprecedented' Cyberattack

Authorities say they have arrested a Dutch national in Spain in connection with a March cyberattack widely described as the largest in Internet history.

According to The Associated Press, Dutch prosecutors say the 35-year-old suspect, who is identified only by his initials, S.K., was taken into custody on Thursday.

In a statement released Friday, they say S.K. is believed to have carried out "unprecedentedly serious attacks on the non-profit organization ."

The Netherlands National Prosecution Office said the suspect was arrested at his home in Barcelona and that authorities had also seized computers and mobile phones, the AP reports.

The suspect was being held on a European arrest warrant and was expected to be extradited to the Netherlands, according to the AP report.

The attack on Spamhaus, an anti-spam group, occurred in March and allegedly came from someone using Cyberbunker, a Dutch company that hosts many spammers.

At the time, Kaspersky Labs, a leading cybersecurity research group, called it "one of the largest [Distributed Denial of Service] operations to date" involving 300 gigabits of data per second directed at Spamhaus.

But as we reported in March, while the attack was indeed a large one and did slow down the Internet in parts of Europe, it barely registered with most Web users.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.
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